Money will fund substance abuse, community garden, and pedestrian safety initiatives
BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) have secured $120,000 in state funding earmarks for the Town of Reading as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 House budget.
Jones and Haggerty co-sponsored a series of amendments on the town’s behalf, four of which were included in the House budget, which was engrossed in the early morning hours of April 29. Final approval of the funding is still pending, as both the Senate and Governor Charlie Baker must agree to the spending earmarks before the money can be released to the town.
The funding earmarks for Reading include:
- $10,000 to support substance abuse and addiction awareness and education efforts at the Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support, which operates out of the Reading Police Department and offers programs and services to the community related to substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion;
- $50,000 for the re-design of the Upper Haven Street (CVS) Municipal Parking Lot to include more pedestrian-friendly features;
- $50,000 for pedestrian access improvements at the Eastern Gateway, with a focus on the intersection at the entrance to Market Basket; and
- $10,000 for the establishment of a Reading Community Garden to enhance currently unused or underused town spaces.
“The proposed House budget recognizes some of Reading’s top priorities by providing critical funding to address the town’s economic development, public health, and public safety needs,” said Jones. “I’m proud to join with Representative Haggerty to advocate for these important local initiatives on behalf of the residents of Reading. We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure this funding is retained in the final budget.”
“The House budget and these funds support several targeted town initiatives by providing important funding for traffic flow and pedestrian improvements that continue to be of concern to many residents,” said Haggerty. “Additionally, these funds will help promote the community’s commitment that is focused on battling substance abuse and providing a healthy, safe lifestyle for all its residents. I would like to thank Minority Leader Jones for his continued partnership in advocating for these important initiatives.”
The FY22 budget now moves to the Senate, which is expected to debate its own spending proposal the week of May 24.